Veterans for Peace to protest the School of the Americas this weekend
Anti-war protesters held signs today in South Tampa; some of the signs said “Honk if you want to close Gitmo”, and “bring them home.”
Early in 2006, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid criticized President Bush's speech at US Central Command in Tampa, questioning his pre-war claims of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. Ever since then, Jay Alexander with the Tampa Veterans for Peace has been holding vigils for peace near Mac Dill Air Force Base, and asking for a moratorium on sending troops to Iraq. One of the signs they held read “war is over if you want it.”
Jay Alexander: "...That’s from John Lennon. 40 years ago he had a song about Christmas, “So This is Christmas”, and that’s one of the lyrics, and he had it posted all over major cities around the world during the Vietnam War. The major sign we have directed at the military coming off the post says ‘bring them home.’”
South Tampa resident Jane Gibbons is the only other person who attended today’s vigil.
Jane Gibbons: “I think it’s time that we brought our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. I think that we are spending an inordinate amount of money over there, and it’s not making us any safer and I think that money could be spent better here at home. We could provide health care. We could provide jobs. Out troops are over there living the horrors of war, and the least that I can do is come out here and show support for our troops to bring them home.”
Veterans for peace will be in Fort Benning, Georgia this weekend protesting the training center formerly known as the School of the Americas. Protesters will mark the 20th anniversary of the November 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador by School of the Americas graduates.
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